HALLOWEEN MAN #25/ Stories by DREW EDWARDS/ Scripts by DREW EDWARDS & JESSE FARRELL/ Art by JOHN SOWDER, JASON WILSON, PAULO HERNANDEZ, EVAN QUIRING, MAX YOUNG, JOHN GHOULSON, ANDREA MONTANO, JOEY MUERTO, KAAN ERDROGAN & SERGIO CALVET /Colors by KITTY PIERCE, DAN CONNER, JOHN SOWDER, JASON WILSON, JOEY MUERTO, JOHN GHOULSON, KAT HORTON & APRIL GUADIANA/ Letters by APRIL GUADIANA, MATT LIVE & JOEY MUERTO/ Cover by NICOLA SCOTT & ANNETTE KWOK/ Published by SUGAR SKULL MEDIA
Twenty years is a long time. It doesn’t matter what you are measuring; by the time you’ve been at something for 20 years, you’ve figured it out. You’re doing something right. You’ve established a legacy. The anniversary issue of Halloween Man #25 is a celebration of Drew Edwards’ legacy of thrilling, independent entertainment!
The story of Solomon Hitch is rooted in tragedy. The native Texan was born on Halloween, died on Halloween, and brought back as a flesh-eating, monster hunting monster on Halloween known as Halloween Man. Accompanying him on his crusade are a close-knit group of friends that scatter the spectrum of human and animal characteristics, and the only woman for him – Lucy Chaplin.
What I love about this story is it kicks off with a scheme. You don’t have to wait for the end of the story to know who it is, what they want, and why. It’s a boss move, really, because he just puts it out there and then you read the story knowing exactly what is supposed to play out. It’s like watching a cups-and-balls routine, but the magicians are using clear glass cups. Once we get the plotting behind us, we invade the private time of our hero preparing for his birthday. Deathday. Whatever. With a comforting word from Lucy, they head out to enjoy the day with their friends.
What follows is an emotional rollercoaster of events. We have mischief. We have kidnapping. We have dinosaurs. We have The King! More important than all of that, however, is the temptation. This is not an issue to be missed!
In true Anniversary Issue fashion, we are treated to a smorgasbord of artists lending their talents to the story every few pages. The rotation of perspectives is a fun way to propel the story, with Nicola Scott of Birds of Prey fame wrapping a bow around the book with a breathtaking cover.
A handful of epilogues follow the main story that rounds out the story while teasing at events yet to play out. Polishing off the issue is a pin-up gallery with art from another tag-team of artists. The styles vary greatly and are a delight to behold.
Maintaining a legacy such as Drew’s presents new hurdles for all parties involved. How do you keep the story fresh? How do you continue to engage your readers? How do you land new readers with such a rich and vibrant history of characters and lore? This issue does an amazing job of preparing the reader for the story they are about to read with a low-impact “Just so you know…” in the first two pages. So whether you are a seasoned fan looking for a fantastic progression of story or a brand new reader looking for a place to hop in, this is your issue. As someone who has dipped his toes into the rivers of Halloween Man a few times since 2009, I can tell you that I was able to jump into this with both feet, no snorkel, and came out anxious to see where the waters lead next month.
Halloween Man #25 is now available on ComiXology.